Friday, June 10, 2011

Here We Swim Again!

Well, it is that time of year.  Swim lessons time.  Last year didn't exactly go well and I was dreading the lessons this year. The girls didn't make much progress at all last year.  If you've been reading this blog for a while you might remember those adventures.  If not, you can read about them here, here and here.  Yeah, fun times. Part of the reason for that, I thought, was because our lessons were in the morning, which is not a good thing in June in L.A.  THIS year I thought I would be smart.  THIS year, I figured I would sign them up for afternoon swim lessons so the "June gloom" that we experience here in Los Angeles, would be gone for the day, and the sun would be shining in the afternoon.  Except I forgot that some days the gloom lasts ALL DAY LONG.  Luckily, they do heat the pool so the water hasn't been too bad.  Still, I was sure that we would just be starting from scratch, sun or no sun.  

This year, Georgia's lessons are first.  As it turns out, she LOVES to be in the water. She's still too young to be in a class on her own, so we have a  mommy and me class.   She's not so hip on getting put under the water, but she will kick and float, while I hold her on top like nobody's business. Well, this was progress as far as I was concerned with her.  One down, two to go.  

Sonya and Lana are in the same class again.  Despite taking these classes last year and even a handful of one on one lessons last year, by the end of the summer my girls were still terrified of the water.  Andy is convinced that they will never learn to swim, but I refuse to give up.  They WILL swim, dammit!  I was thinking that Sonya might be a bit better this year.  She was apprehensive about it, but she's starting to get to a point where she understands things better and has an easier time over coming her fears.  Lana, however, was the one I was most worried about.  How surprising, right? It took two lessons last year for her to even stay in the water for more than 5 minutes.  Then when she did she would only go in the water when an instructor held her, and the rest of the time sat on the ledge.  I was pretty sure we would be right there again.  My only hope was she wouldn't run out of the pool the first two days again.  

Then an amazing thing happened.  Something I hadn't anticipated.  Right before Georgia's class started on Monday, the heavens opened up and smiled down on me.  Into the pool walked Lana's best friend, Angelina, and her family.  As it turned out, Angelina was signed up for the same class as Lana and Sonya.  I was sure this would make it a bit easier.  Nothing like a little peer pressure to get your kid swimming!

Unfortunately, the first day of class the instructors separated the kids into two groups and Angelina and Lana got separated.  DAMN!  Lana did stay in the water, though, even if she did still sit up on the ledge again.  I noticed Angelina at the other end of the pool in the water, hopping around, going under, and actually swimming.  By herself.  I made a vow right then that Lana would sit by her the next day.  

Tuesday came and I made sure all the girls went to the same instructors on the same side.  Lana, once again, sat on the edge of the pool, but this time she was next to Angelina who was bouncing up and down in the water, holding on to the edge.  I heard one of the instructors try to encourage Lana off the wall, but no dice.  Then I left to take Georgia to the bathroom.  When I came back this is what I found:

I couldn't believe it!  Lana was actually in the water!  Holding on to the edge!  BY HERSELF!!  For the rest of the class she stayed there and bounced with her friend and her sister in the water.  At one point, I saw her hang on with one hand while putting both feet out of the water, almost floating on her back.  In the last couple days she has progressed even more. At one point she actually went UNDER the water.  WILLINGLY!!  

So, perhaps my girls are on the road to swimming for real this year.  Maybe, just maybe, I might actually get them to let go of the wall and swim to me at some point this summer.  It's certainly a thousand times better than last year already.  I also signed them up for another session later on this summer.  A session I   believe Angelina is in as well.  See, peer pressure and influence isn't always bad!  Sometimes it helps your kid learn to swim.  I'll worry about it making them want to smoke and drink in ten years from now.  For right now, I'm fine with Lana following her friend jumping off a bridge.  Especially if it's into water that she can learn how to swim out of.  

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